3 Ways to Prevent Ice Buildup in Your Gutters

Roof top with ice.
How can you prevent ice dams in your gutter and on your roof?

On a winter’s day, the last thing you want to worry about is roof damage. However, when ice builds up in your gutters, it can lead to water damage issues on your roof. This happens when ice backs up in your gutters and onto your roof, causing water to back up behind the ice.

This phenomenon is called an ice dam, and according to the University of Minnesota, “the water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.” How can you prevent ice buildup in your gutters and stop this damage from occurring?

The Problem of Ice Dams

Why is it a problem if ice builds up in your gutters? These ice dams can lead to serious home damage such as:

  • Rotten soffits and fascia
  • Damaged, warped gutters and downspouts
  • Water stains on your home
  • Damaged attics, including wet insulation
  • Shingle damage as water and ice move underneath the shingles

Reduce all of these problems by maintaining your home in a way that reduces or eliminates the formation of ice dams. According to This Old House, “hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is bad for your roofing—and dangerous for you. And throwing salt on them will do more harm to your plantings than to the ice.”

You need to find structural solutions to this structural problem.

Manage Your Escaping Heat

In part, ice dams occur because there is a difference between the heat on the roof and the heat in your gutters. The roof is connected to the interior of the home, and sometimes it can be a venue for heat leakage. All of the heat in your home rises to the top of your home, and if you don’t have good insulation, it will act as a warming plate for the snow that falls on the roof. Add insulation to your home to help the roof stay cool.

Manage Escaping Air

The warm air that escapes from the home also leads to ice dam issues. For instance, a warm chimney, a leaky skylight, or warm air coming from the exhaust systems from a kitchen or bathroom can all make your roof warmer.

However, the gutters are not warm. The snow that falls on the roof turns to water, rolls down the roof into the gutters, and becomes ice. If you can change the location of your vents and maintain areas around warm spaces like your chimney, then you’ll reduce the amount of warm air that escapes from your home.

Gutters with icicles.
Reduce icicle and ice dam problems with a gutter heating system.

Install a Gutter Heating System

How can you gradually get rid of the snow and ice, prevent ice dams, and also protect your roof? Install a gutter heating system. Gutter heating systems slowly warm the snow and ice that moves toward your gutters. That means that instead of accumulating, the snow in the gutters will turn into water and flow down the gutters, into your downspouts, and away from your home.

Get your gutters ready for winter! With our gutter heating systems and gutter guards, you won’t have to spend your time on ice dam removal this winter. Enjoy the winter rather than feeling stressed about your gutters and roof.  Schedule a free estimate today.

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I recently had the Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet installed on my house. It not only looks amazing, but the guys arrived on time, were professional and efficiently got the job done. I am very satisfied with Gutter Helmet's attention to detail and fulfilling their work as promised. I will definitely tell my neighbors about the Gutter Helmet.
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I have had Gutter Helmets for 20 years. In all that time I've never had a problem until recently a bird's nest found its way into one of my gutters. The installer who came to replace the product was the same installer from 20 years earlier. Now that's impressive. Everyone at Gutter Helmet inclusive of the office staff were professional and a pleasure to work with.
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Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet just replaced our roof and we could not be more satisfied. The crew showed up early, worked all day and stayed late, were professional and caring regarding the project and the surrounding impact it had on our property and home. They completed the roof quickly and it looks simply amazing!
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VERY happy with our entire experience adding Gutter Helmet by Harry Helmet to our house. Installing this was a great value for us. The gutters are working perfectly in heavy downpours and with year-long leaves and debris coming down from our river birches. Terrific customer service and a first class product.
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We needed our roof repaired due to wind damage. After several quotes, Gutter Helmet was the only company that went into our attic to look and see if more damage had occurred. If it wasn't for them taking the extra time to look at everything, we would have had rotting wood under our new roof. They were very professional and gave a fair quote.
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We just had Gutter Helmet installed on our gutters and couldn't be happier. They provided us with useful information about Gutter Helmet and cleaned up everything, leaving no mess behind. We definitely recommend Gutter Helmet to anyone considering this product.
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